How to Write a Research Paper - A Research Guide for Students

 

preparing an outline for a research paper

Feb 14,  · Preparing to Write Toggle Dropdown. Academic Writing Style For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than few pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a tentative list of references. What is an Outline for a Research Paper? What is an outline for a research paper and how to write an outline for a research paper? The primary thing is to provide a clear definition. An academic project outline is an action plan a student prepares not to get lost during the process of writing, and this piece reflects the main points of the text. A research paper outline is a helpful point-by-point plan, which makes your research paper writing easier. However, before proceeding to an outline you will have to take some pre-writing steps. They will be helpful in composing the best quality outline and, as a result, a great academic work.


How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper: Become an Essay Guru


An outline is a formal system used to develop a framework for thinking about what should be the organization and eventual contents of your paper, preparing an outline for a research paper. An outline helps you predict the overall structure and flow of a paper. Why and How to Create a Useful Outline.

Purdue University. Writing papers in college requires you to come up with sophisticated, complex, and sometimes very creative ways of structuring your ideas.

Taking the time to draft an outline can help you determine if your ideas connect to each other, what order of ideas works best, where gaps in your thinking may exist, or whether you have sufficient evidence to support each of your points.

It is also an effective way to think about the time you will need to complete each part of your paper before you begin writing.

A good outline is important because :. How to Structure and Organize Your Paper. Purdue University; Lietzau, Kathleen. Creating Outlines. Writing Center, University of Richmond. General Approaches. There are two general approaches you can take when writing an outline for your paper:. The topic outline consists of short phrases. This approach is useful when you are dealing with a number of different issues that could be arranged in a variety of different ways in your paper.

Due to short phrases having more content than using simple sentences, they create better content from which to build your paper. The sentence outline is done in full sentences. This preparing an outline for a research paper is useful when your paper focuses on complex issues in detail.

The sentence outline is also useful because sentences themselves have many of the details in them needed to build a paper and it allows you to include those details in the sentences instead of having to create an outline of short phrases that goes on page after page. Steps to Making the Outline.

A strong outline details each topic and subtopic in your paper, organizing these points so that they build your argument toward an evidence-based conclusion.

Writing an outline will also help you focus on the task at hand and avoid unnecessary tangents, logical fallacies, and underdeveloped paragraphs. Once you have developed the basic outline of the paper, organize the contents to match the standard format of a research paper as described in this guide. Things to Consider When Writing an Outline. Four Main Components for Effective Outlines.

Purdue University; How to Make an Outline. Psychology Writing Center. University of Washington; Organization: Informal Outlines. Hunter College; Outlining. Department of English Writing Guide. George Mason University; Plotnic, Jerry. Organizing an Essay. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Reverse Outline. The Writing Center. Writing Center.

University of Wisconsin, Madison; Using Outlines, preparing an outline for a research paper. Institute for Writing Rhetoric.

Dartmouth College. If, in writing your paper, it begins to diverge from your outline, this is very likely a sign that you've lost your focus.

How do you know whether to change the paper to fit the outline, or, that you need to reconsider the outline so that it fits the paper? A good way to check your progress is to use what you have written to recreate the outline. This is an effective strategy for assessing the organization of your paper. If the resulting outline says what you want it to say and it is in an order that is easy to follow, then the organization of your paper has been successful.

If you discover that it's difficult to create an outline from what you have written, then you likely need to revise your paper. Contact us. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Making an Outline This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition An outline is a formal system used to develop a framework for thinking about what should be the organization and eventual contents of your paper.

Importance of A good outline is important because : You will be much less likely to get writer's block, preparing an outline for a research paper. An outline will show where you're going and how to get there. Use the outline to set goals for completing each section of your paper. It will help you stay organized and focused throughout the writing process and help ensure proper coherence [flow of ideas] in your final paper.

However, the outline should be viewed as a guide, not a straitjacket. As you review the literature or gather data, the organization of your paper may change; adjust your outline accordingly. A clear, detailed outline ensures that you always have something to help re-calibrate your writing should you feel yourself drifting into subject areas unrelated to the research problem.

Use your outline to set boundaries around what you will investigate, preparing an outline for a research paper. The outline can be key to staying motivated. You can put together an outline when you're excited about the project and everything is clicking; making an outline is never as overwhelming as sitting down and beginning to write a twenty page paper without any sense of where it is going.

An outline preparing an outline for a research paper you organize multiple ideas about a topic. Most research problems can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives; an outline can help you sort out which modes of analysis are most appropriate to ensure the most robust findings are discovered. An outline not only helps you organize your thoughts, but preparing an outline for a research paper can also serve as a schedule for when certain aspects of your writing should be accomplished.

Review the assignment and highlight the due dates of specific tasks and integrate these into your outline. If your professor has not created specific deadlines, create your own deadlines by thinking about your own writing style and the need to manage your time around other course assignments. Structure and Writing Style I. General Approaches There are two general approaches you can take when writing an outline for your paper: The topic outline consists of short phrases.

Steps to Making the Outline A strong outline details each topic and subtopic in your paper, organizing these points so that they build your argument toward an evidence-based conclusion. Identify the research problem. The research problem is the focal point from which the rest of the outline flows. Try to sum up the point of your paper in one sentence or phrase.

It also can be key to deciding what the title of your paper should be. Identify the main categories. What main points will you analyze? Create the first category. What is the first point you want to cover? If the paper centers preparing an outline for a research paper a complicated term, a definition can be a good place to start. For a paper that concerns the application and testing of a particular theory, giving the general background on the theory can be a good place to begin.

Create subcategories. After you have followed these steps, create points under it that provide support for the main point.

The number of categories that you use depends on the amount of information that you are trying to cover. There is no right or wrong number to use. Choose either a topic outline or a sentence outline based on which one you believe will work best for you.

However, once you begin developing an outline, it's helpful to stick to only one preparing an outline for a research paper. Both topic and sentence outlines use Roman and Arabic numerals along with capital and small letters of the alphabet arranged in a consistent and rigid sequence. A rigid format should be used especially if you are required to hand in your outline. Although the format of an outline is rigid, it shouldn't make you inflexible about how to write your paper.

Often when you start investigating a research problem [i. If your paper changes focus, or you need to add new sections, then feel free to reorganize the outline. If appropriate, organize the main points of your outline in chronological order. In papers where you need to trace the history or chronology of events or issues, it is important to arrange your outline in the same manner, knowing that it's easier to re-arrange things now than when you've almost finished your paper.

For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than few pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a tentative list of references.

 

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper (with Pictures)

 

preparing an outline for a research paper

 

What is an Outline for a Research Paper? What is an outline for a research paper and how to write an outline for a research paper? The primary thing is to provide a clear definition. An academic project outline is an action plan a student prepares not to get lost during the process of writing, and this piece reflects the main points of the text. A research paper outline is a helpful point-by-point plan, which makes your research paper writing easier. However, before proceeding to an outline you will have to take some pre-writing steps. They will be helpful in composing the best quality outline and, as a result, a great academic work. How to Write a Research Paper. What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.